> Most Free/Open Source Software is in fact not created by unpaid
> volunteers or even by underpaid workers, but by professional developers
> at the companies or organizations who sponsor the projects.
Define "most". What you describe is true for the Linux kernel and other pieces of software that make up a typical Linux distribution such as RedHat, but even those are not 100% developed by paid developers. On top of that, crucial components such as OpenSSH (developed by OpenBSD) and popular applications such The Gimp are developed by volunteers. Free Software as a whole is an ecology that is made up by volunteer and paid developer contributions.
And I would argue that all these developers are underpaid in the light of the IBM/RedHat transaction which they will not profit from. (Quite on the opposite, with IBM's management taking over and making it part of its 'cloud' division, the question is how many free software developers on the RedHat payroll will stay in their jobs.)
It's one thing to sell your labor as alienated labor to a company, knowing full well that you get exploited. It's another thing to contribute to free software as a volunteer and (at least partially) idealist cause and see others make $30 billions with it.
I don't buy the argument that RedHat has a $30 billion company value just because of its services.
> And Red Hat's value is not as much the free software it has used as its
> knowledge and infrastructure - which has arguably not been built by
> unpaid volunteers.
> In general, I'd say, top-professional FOSS tools are not built by
> amateurs or volunteers - though maybe by people who like to make them
> and who also can get paid by consulting or doing other works related to
> But as I said, it's not the licensing regime, but the exploitative
> nature of capitalist companies, that's the problem. Going proprietary
> wouldn't help a bit. Creating cooperatives that shared the income
> without any need for "bosses" or "owners" would be a safer bet.
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